The format has changed at this week's national hockey league, and Auckland captain Arun Panchia is enjoying the adjustment.

Teams are playing day on, day off and in pools of four, rather than a full round robin of seven games. Black Stick Panchia said last night the change is certainly less taxing on the body.

"Having a recovery day is good, tactically you can look into the opposition a bit more so it's not so much about physicality and you get a good tactical game into play," Panchia said.

Auckland's 2-0 win over Canterbury yesterday leaves them clear on top in pool B.


The goals came from Ben Radonovich in the third quarter and Johnny Kinder at the end.

"That was a tough game. To come out with a 2-0 is a good performance and good for us building to the quarter-finals," Panchia added.

Central thumped Northland 7-1 in the other pool B game, with a brace of goals each for Martin Atkinson and Dylan Thomas.

In pool A, North Harbour had a good 4-0 win over Southern, with two goals from Daniel Harris, both from penalty corners and one apiece from Kirk Shimmins and Cory Bennett. Three of Harbour's goals came in the last 11 minutes.

Defending champions Midlands are in difficulties, though, after their 5-2 loss to Capital last night.

They are without a point after two matches. Midlands were 2-1 up at halftime through penalty strokes from former international drag flick star Andy Hayward and Aidan Sarakaya, but Capital ran away with four goals in a 14-minute burst after halftime, including a pair from Benedict van Woerkom.

The third round of women's matches are on today, with Auckland facing defending champs Canterbury in the clutch game.